Clever Classification with Zoomy™

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Get Ready

  • Skills: Observation, Data analysis, Classification, Graphing
  • Grades: 1-3
  • Grouping: Individual, Whole Class
  • Time: 10-15 Minutes
  • Materials: Zoomy™, computer, printer, index cards, paper and pencil

Try It!


  1. Demonstrate how to use Zoomy for the group. Have students take turns practicing with Zoomy.
  2. Guide

  3. Explain to students that fingerprints may be classified as loops, whorls, and arches. Use books with photographs or websites for reference.
  4. Using a pencil, have each student heavily shade his or her finger and make a fingerprint on an index card. Pencil makes a print that is easier to read than ink.
  5. Have each student use Zoomy to take a magnified photograph of his or her fingerprint and print the image.
  6. Have students sort the photos into each of the three categories. Younger students may need assistance sorting the photos. Have students create a bar graph representing the data. Discuss the results by asking questions such as, What category has the most photos? Which category has the fewest? Do you think the results would be the same for other classes?
  7. Assess

  8. Have students complete the attached self-assessment. Use students' graphs to assess their abilities to gather and analyze data. Determine if students were able to categorize the fingerprints. Use the insight from the self-assessments to determine student understanding. Are students restating information that was shared? Are students able to use this information to create something new? Upload photos of different categories of fingerprints and post them on your class website.
  9. Extend

  10. Challenge students to use the data from the experiment to create a circle graph using a computer program or pencil and compass. What percentage of the class had each type of fingerprint?